Audi is targeting a new vehicle class with the A7 Sportback. This large, elegant five-door model unites the emotion-packed character of a coupe with the comfort and prestige of a sedan and with the functional utility of a station wagon. With its lightweight body containing numerous aluminum components, the powerful and highly efficient V6 engines, the sporty chassis and the advanced assistance and multimedia systems, it sets standards in many areas. The Audi A7 Sportback will roll into dealerships in the fall, with prices in Germany starting at €51,650.
Audi is once again breaking new ground in design with the A7 Sportback, whose lines convey aesthetic athleticism and elegance on a grand scale. The five-door coupe measures 4.97 meters (16.31 ft) in length and 1.91 meters (6.27 ft) in width, but only 1.42 meters (4.66 ft) in height. Its long engine hood, the sportily flowing C-pillars and the sharply dropping rear create a dynamic overall impression.
The A7 Sportback is an Audi in new top form. Its low, dynamically drawn roofline lends it the character of a coupe. The design presents the aesthetics of modern technology in every detail – in the sharp, precise stroke of the lines, for instance, or in the athletically taut surfaces. Up front, optional LED headlights accentuate the distinctive expression. They use light-emitting diodes to provide all functions and consume little energy. LED tail lights are standard.
The sinewy sportiness of the exterior carries over into the interior of the A7 Sportback, where Audi again gives proof of its leading role in automotive design. The salient element is the “wrap-around” – a horizontal line encircling the driver and the front-seat passenger.
The arc extends from the driver’s side across the instrument panel to the passenger’s door. The instrument panel has a wave-shaped application strip and generates significant tension.
In the interior, even the tiniest details document the care with which Audi builds its cars. The quality of the workmanship is on a craftsman’s level. High-grade new materials such as layered wood veneers are a treat for the senses, and an optional ambient lighting system adds highlights to the interior. The front seats are available with optional ventilation and massage functions. A further option allows the contours of the side bolsters on the seat and backrest to be adjusted individually.
The five-door coupe from Audi combines supreme long-distance comfort with a sporty character. The interior noise level is very low even at high speeds, with the engines providing subtle acoustic feedback as their power unfolds. Behind the excellent acoustics are new structural design methods, the bundled use of high-end materials such as microfiber fleeces, and the systematic conceptual design of multifunction parts, such as acoustically active wheel well shells and underbody panels.
Cultivated atmosphere: excellent body characteristics
The cultivated atmosphere is due in part to the excellent vibrational comfort. This is the result of painstakingly tuning all components, systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings, and the extremely stiff body. Comprised primarily of aluminum and high-tech steels, it is exceptionally lightweight and very safe. The long rear hatch opens high to reveal a luggage compartment that is very easy to load and offers excellent functionality. Its ample standard 535-liter (18.89 cu ft) capacity swells to 1,390 liters (49.09 cu ft) with the rear seat rests folded down.
The A7 Sportback offers a new level of technical intelligence with logical, self-explanatory ergonomics. The optimized MMI operating system comes standard; among the optional equipment is a new head-up display that projects the most important information on the windshield. The MMI touch operating system combines a hard drive navigation system with the groundbreaking convenience of touchpad input. The driver can use the touchpad to perform numerous functions conveniently and intuitively, such as using his or her finger to write the letters of the destination or the digits of the telephone number.
The online services provided in collaboration with Google connect the five-door Audi coupe to the Internet via the online Bluetooth car phone. A UMTS module pulls images and information from Google Earth up on the monitor and integrates them with the navigation route. A WLAN hotspot provides contact to mobile devices on board, such as an iPad. Topping the fine range of hi-fi choices are the Bose sound system and the Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen, which features 1,300 watts of power and 15 speakers.
The top navigation system works closely together with the many optional driver assistance and safety systems in the A7 Sportback. It provides the route data to the control units for the headlights, the automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, enabling these systems to recognize complex scenarios. In many cases, the Audi pre sense safety system can reduce the severity of accidents and their consequences. The new Audi active lane assist helps the driver to keep the A7 Sportback firmly on course, and the park assist system – also new – relieves the driver of the chore of steering when parallel parking.
Cultivated power: the V6 engines
Audi offers the A7 Sportback with a choice of four powerful and cultivated V6 engines: two gasoline and two diesel units. They produce between 150 kW (204 hp) and 220 kW (300 hp), and their efficiency sets new standards in the vehicle class. The new 3.0 TDI, which will be available somewhat later, produces 150 kW (204 hp) and with the multitronic transmission consumes on average just 5.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (44.38 US mpg), corresponding to groundbreaking CO2 emissions of just 139 g/km (223.70 g/mile). All engines feature a recuperation system, thermal management and a start-stop system.
The standard automatic transmissions also play a role in the high efficiency of the Audi A7 Sportback. Audi offers two different transmissions depending on the engines: The convenient multitronic sends engine power to the front wheels, the sporty seven-speed S tronic to all four wheels. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is state of the art. Featuring a crown-gear center differential and torque vectoring, it is particularly flexible and dynamic. The optional sport differential actively distributes the power between the rear wheels.
The chassis, too, combines sporty precision with luxurious comfort. The Audi A7 Sportback rolls on large wheels measuring from 18 to 20 inches in diameter. Its links are made of aluminum; the newly developed power steering features a highly efficient electromechanical drive. The Audi drive select dynamics system is standard and can be supplemented by the optional adaptive air suspension with controlled damping. The dynamic steering system, which varies its steering ratio according to the speed being driven, will follow somewhat later.